CHRISTIAN HARTMANN / AFP
Russia: why Trump’s threats to NATO in the event of a return to power scare Westerners (Photo of Donald Trump taken in December 2019 during a NATO summit when he was still president of the United States)
INTERNATIONAL – Still as appalling. is in the middle of the race for the Republican primary, but he is already planning for . The former president has even already promised certain things if he returns to power, and the program is nothing glorious.
During a meeting in South Carolina on Saturday February 10, he threatened to no longer guarantee protection against Russia if they did not pay their share, even affirming that he “would encourage” Moscow to attack them. To illustrate his point, he reported a conversation he had with one of the heads of state of NATO, without naming him.
“One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said: “well, sir, if we don’t pay and we are attacked by Russia, will you protect us ?” »said the former Republican president before revealing his response: “No, I won’t protect you. In fact, I will encourage them to do whatever they want. You have to pay your bills”.
2% of GDP, “ a guideline and not a binding contract”
An idea that is not very surprising coming from the billionaire. Indeed, Donald Trump of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for not keeping their commitments on military spending. Namely spending 2% of their GDP in the defense budget. During the campaign, he had already threatened several times to leave NATO if he returned to the White House.
As a reminder, Article 5 stipulates that if a NATO country is the victim of an armed attack, each member of the Alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack directed against all members and will take appropriate measures. which he deems necessary to come to the aid of the attacked country.
However, as pointed out, Trump has a misperception about how NATO funding works. Certainly, the organization’s objective is for each member country to devote at least 2% of its gross domestic product to defense, which most countries fail to achieve. But this figure is a guideline and not a binding contract, nor does it create any “bills”, explains the media. Thus, member countries which are below 2% are not failing in their obligations. And that should in no way prevent them from being protected by their allies.
Words that “ serve Putin’s interests”
His comments caused outrage and dismay in Europe and within the organization. For many, evoking the simple idea of abandoning member countries to their fate would be an admission of NATO’s weakness and proof of a split among the signatories. Also, suggest to Vladimir Putin that he could do “ What he wants » with these countries would open the door to potential new conflicts.
“For Donald Trump to admit that he intends to give Putin the green light for more war and violence, to continue his brutal assault on a free Ukraine and to extend his aggression to the people of Poland and the Baltic states is distressing and dangerous “the Democratic president said in a statement.
Dr. Patrick Bury, a defense and security expert and former NATO analyst, told the that while Trump may reflect U.S. anger that some member countries are not spending enough of their budgets on the army. But his words go beyond the limits. “It’s okay to play hardball with NATO allies, but it all depends how far you go. These comments really go too far”did he declare.
“ Reckless Statement »
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned: “Any suggestion that Allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the United States, and places American and European soldiers at increased risk. »
“These reckless statements about NATO security and Article 5 solidarity only serve Putin’s interests” And “bring neither more security nor more peace in the world”, denounced the President of the European Council Charles Michel.
Donald Trump’s last rival in the Republican primaries, denounced the ex-president’s rhetoric. “Let’s not take the side of a bully who kills his opponents”she said, referring to Vladimir Putin. “We want NATO allies to pay their share, but there are ways to get that without… telling Russia: “do what you want with these countries” »she added.
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